Sports & Entertainment Spotlight: The New York Giants and New York Jets Football Teams Sued By a Fan Over the Use of “New York” in Teams’ Names

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Welcome back to another week of the “Sports & Entertainment Spotlight.” Sadly, for the third week running (first legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden, then beloved Golden Girl, Betty White), the S&E world is coming to grips with the passing of another indelible figure of their respective crafts — this time comedian, “America’s Dad” for the ‘80s and ‘90s (and by all accounts a great person), Bob Saget. It always strikes me as interesting that one can feel such a sense of loss in the death of someone whom they have never actually met. In a way, however, each reached out and forged their own relationships with their audience, seeded memories and became a part of the audience’s life story, though it was never a part of theirs. To paraphrase John Madden himself in his eulogy of his late friend and broadcasting partner Pat Summerall, you can determine a person’s life accomplishments in a field by whether you can still tell the history of that field without reference to that person. By that measure, Madden, White and Saget all had outsized accomplishments in spades. For that, we owe them all a debt of gratitude. For my part, I owe you a debt of knowledge that I intend to pay back with interest in this week’s Spotlight.

  • The New York Giants and New York Jets football teams were sued by a fan challenging their right to be called “New York” teams even though they play home games in East Rutherford, NJ. The plaintiff argues that if they are called “New York” they should have to play in New York. Though if recent history is a guide, I’m not so sure us New Yorkers would want that.
  • Sticking with the Empire State, the New York Times is acquiring sports media website The Athletic for $500 million, putting the valuation of the Spotlight at somewhere between zero and $500 million.
  • Highlighting the pitfalls of endorsements of cryptocurrencies, particularly on social media, Kim Kardashian and Floyd “Money” Mayweather are among a few high-profile celebrities facing a lawsuit for pushing a “pump-and-dump” scam. Call me crazy, but I think having the nickname “Money” qualifies you to make sound investment advice.
  • John Legend gives the “Green Light” for his songwriting catalog to “Get Lifted” in yet another private equity investment in music copyrights.

Endorsement Deals, Sponsorships & Investments

MANSCAPED™ and UFC® Announce Multi-Year Extension of Their Iconic Partnership
January 12, 2022 via Business Wire - Communications News (subscription may be required)
MANSCAPED™, the leading men’s lifestyle consumer brand and male grooming category creator, and UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced a multi-year extension of their epic partnership.

EXCLUSIVE: Tom Brady Talks His New Brady Brand
January 10, 2022 via Women's Wear Daily
Tom Brady’s football career is far from over but he’s already plotting his next chapter — and it’s simply called Brady. After teasing it last fall, on Wednesday, January 12, the superstar Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback will finally unveil his men’s apparel brand.

Cam Newton on Investing in Plant-Based Chicken Startup Daring Foods
January 9, 2022 via Yahoo! News
For plant-based meat alternatives, 2021 was a breakout year, and the market is only looking more lucrative going into 2022. Daring Foods is developing sustainable healthier meat replacements for the most widely consumed animal protein: chicken.

Marco Pierre White Becomes Latest Celebrity Chef to Endorse Veganism
January 8, 2022 via Green Queen
Once-controversial British chef Marco Pierre White has given his seal of approval to plant-based eating. The declaration follows a five-stone loss after eating vegan for nine months. Despite recording numerous benefits, the multiple steakhouse owner did not embrace the diet permanently.

Earnings From Name, Image, or Likeness Can Help Offset Tuition Costs but Also Come With Tax Obligations
January 7, 2022 via Web Wire
Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting looks at the potential tax issues associated with the ability of college athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness.

What to Watch: How the New NIL Rules Can Benefit Fashion Brands
January 6, 2022 via Women's Wear Daily
Is 2022 the year of the student athlete? In July 2021, the NCAA changed its policy to allow athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness, or NIL.

Why the Cringey Matt Damon Crypto Ad Is No Laughing Matter
January 6, 2022 via The Age
Taking the musings of social media seriously was one of last year’s expensive lessons for sophisticated investors.


Sports

Major League Wrestling Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against WWE
January 12, 2022 via New York Post - NYPD Blotter
Major League Wrestling is starting a court fight with WWE. The Mamaroneck-based promotion, run by former WWE writer Court Bauer, announced it filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE in California federal court on Tuesday, January 11, based on alleged attempts by Vince McMahon’s company to interfere in MLW’s contracts and business process.

Pac-12 Football: The Top Storylines for 2022 (Kelly’s Future, ASU’s Fate, CFP Expansion, Wobbly Recruiting, Alliance Matters And More)
January 11, 2022 via Los Angeles (LA) Daily News
The Pac-12 was anything but boring in 2021, which began with Larry Scott announcing his departure (Jan. 20), ended with a ghastly showing in bowl games and featured the hiring of a new commissioner, George Kliavkoff, a brief exploration of expansion, an alliance with the Big Ten and ACC.

UFC Inks New Media Deal With Discovery as Overseas Rights Grow
January 11, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
UFC has signed a new international partnership with Discovery Inc. in Spain and the Netherlands, the latest in a growing international media portfolio. UFC fights will air on Discovery+ in the Netherlands and on Discovery-owned Eurosport in Spain.

Djokovic Holds Serve in Australian Court as Visa Saga Plays On
January 10, 2022 via Sportico – Law (subscription may be required)
In a ruling that increases the odds, though doesn’t guarantee, Novak Djokovic will play in the 2022 Australian Open, an Australian judge on Monday, January 10, ordered Djokovic be released from immigration detention, holding that the government had flubbed on procedure.

Jets, Giants Sued for Being Fake New York Teams
January 7, 2022 via Sportico – Law (subscription may be required)
Imagine buying tickets to watch the New York Jets play at home, then finding out they play in New Jersey. Surprised? Sure. Upset? Maybe, especially if it costs you to get to East Rutherford.

WWE Acquires Exclusive IGT Licensing Rights, Expands Gaming Portfolio
January 6, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
The WWE is betting big by getting into the lottery business. The wrestling powerhouse plans to roll out branded lottery games nationwide, thanks to a new multi-year deal with gaming company International Game Technology (IGT).

Djokovic’s Australian Visa Cancellation and Potential Exit From This Year’s Open Could Impact Ratings Value For Broadcasters, Says Globaldata
January 6, 2022 via GlobalData - All news
Following the news that Australia has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa on his arrival in Melbourne; Patrick Kinch, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, a leading analytics and data company, offers his view.


Music Biz

Multiplatinum Music Producer Partners With Billionaire Dan Gilbert to Launch Music Artist Services Company
January 12, 2022 via Forbes – Leadership (subscription may be required)
Che Pope, a multiplatinum producer and music executive, has partnered with billionaire entrepreneur and investor Dan Gilbert to launch a Detroit-based music services business dubbed WRKSHP, pronounced like “workshop.”

Che Pope, Dan Gilbert Team Up to Launch Music-Based Lifestyle Brand WRKSHP in Detroit
January 12, 2022 via Benzinga
WRKSHP, a music-based lifestyle company, launches Wednesday, January 12, in Detroit with the goal of ultimately reshaping the music industry. What to know: WRKSHP is designed to disrupt the traditional record label model with partnerships offering artists a larger share of their talent-driven profits.

How Streaming Services Like Spotify Saved the Music Industry
January 12, 2022 via Evening Standard
This year is touted as the year of reckoning for music streaming. But here’s the good news – your resolutions don’t need to include cancelling your subscription.

Primary Wave Turns Up the Volume on Music Deals
January 12, 2022 via Wall Street Journal – US Business (subscription may be required)
After last year’s rush of music deal making, the industry expects even more sales of music portfolios this year. Music publisher Primary Wave capped off 2021 with deals for music rights from London folk-rock band America and blues rock baritone Paul Rodgers, investing $40 million and $20 million, respectively.

Rolling Stones Follow Rock Royalty With Their Own Set of Stamps
January 11, 2022 via The Scotsman
A special set of stamps is being issued to celebrate The Rolling Stones, Royal Mail has announced. The 12 stamps will be a tribute to the band, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, having been formed in London in 1962.

Warner, Lenny Williams Settle Music Streaming Royalties Case
January 10, 2022 via Bloomberg Law - News Top Stories (subscription may be required)
Warner Records Inc. agree to settle musician Lenny Williams' proposed class action in federal court in Los Angeles alleging Warner didn't properly compensate artists for foreign streaming royalties.

John Legend Sells His Music Catalog to KKR, BMG
January 7, 2022 via Wall Street Journal - US Business (subscription may be required)
KKR & Co. Inc. and BMG have acquired the songwriting catalog of John Legend. The deal, disclosed in a regulatory filing, closed last fall and illustrates how red-hot the market for music investments has become.


Film & TV

Roku Doubles Down On L.A. as It Makes Big Programming Push
January 12, 2022 via Los Angeles Times Entertainment News
When the Roku Channel launched five years ago, it was a minnow in a sea of streaming giants. The free, ad-supported service started small, offering nearly 500 hours of licensed programming with mostly older films like as 1984’s “The Karate Kid” and the comedy “Legally Blonde.”

Apple (AAPL) Reportedly Discussing Streaming Deal With MLB
January 11, 2022 via Entrepreneur Magazine
Apple AAPL is reportedly looking to stream Major League Baseball (“MLB”) games through its Apple TV+ streaming service.

TikTok’s Biggest Stars Get Paid
January 11, 2022 via Jewish Business News
They’re on their way to becoming future household names in America, and they’re already profiting handsomely from their social media fame: TikTok’s biggest stars.

Dan Sefton to Adapt Ex-Genesis Drummer’s Novel for TV; Smithsonian Channel to Spotlight Cassius Clay / Muhammad Ali Story; Abacus Media Rights Signs BBC Studios/UKTV’s Charalambous – Global Briefs
January 11, 2022 via Deadline Hollywood Breaking News
Mallorca Files creator Dan Sefton is to adapt the story of ex-Genesis drummer Chris Stewart’s life for TV. Based on Stewart’s novel Driving Over Lemons, Sefton.

ESPN Taps Alex Rodriguez, Michael Kay for New Swing at Baseball
January 7, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
Can Alex Rodriguez do for ESPN’s baseball presentations what Peyton and Eli Manning have done for its Monday Night Football?

Cinedigm Boosts Content Portfolio With Digital Media Rights Acquisition
January 7, 2022 via Digital TV Europe
LA-based VOD operator Cinedigm has announced the acquisition of Digital Media Rights (DMR). DMR is described by Cinedigm as “a diversified specialty streaming, advertising, and content distribution company with significant expertise in building audiences for global content in North America.”

StarTimes Obtains 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Broadcasting Rights
January 7, 2022 via TelecomPaper Broadcast
StarTimes Media has acquired broadcasting rights to the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been awarded pay-television and over the top (OTT) media rights in every sub-Saharan Africa territory in English, Portuguese and African local languages.

NFL Games Account for 75 of the 100 Most-Watched Broadcasts of 2021
January 7, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
In a year marked by a pair of ratings-hogging quadrennial events and a whole lot of Beltway intrigue, the NFL in 2021 effectively swallowed TV whole, accounting for 41 of the top 50 most-watched programs, and 75 of the top 100.

New York Times to Buy Sports Media Startup The Athletic
January 6, 2022 via Sportico – Business (subscription may be required)
After months of discussions with private equity firms, gambling operators and legacy media brands, The Athletic is being acquired by The New York Times Co., according to a report from The Information.

Cinedigm Agrees to Acquire Streaming and Entertainment Company Digital Media Rights Adding 10 New Channels and 7,500 Titles
January 6, 2022 via Yahoo Finance - Top Stories
Deal scales up Cinedigm with more than 30 streaming services, 46,000 hours of content, 40 million monthly viewers, 18.5 million social subscribers, and 4+ billion views Cinedigm, the leading provider of enthusiast streaming services, announced today that the Company has reached an agreement to acquire Digital Media Rights (DMR).


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Gap to Release First NFT Collection
January 12, 2022 via Chain Store Age
Gap Inc. is globally launching an assortment of collectible NFTs with a gamified digital experience.

Guy Oseary Signs NFT Collective World of Women for Representation, Alongside Bored Ape Yacht Club
January 12, 2022 via News Break
Guy Oseary announced the signing of Bored Ape Yacht Club and its creator Yuga Labs for representation, alongside management clients Madonna, U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

All-Time Best-Selling Rapper Just Dropped US $462,000 On a Bored Ape NFT
January 12, 2022 via Emsf-Lisboa
In early 2022, Eminem, the 49-year old rapper, spent close to $462,000 to purchase an NFT of Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Sued for Allegedly Promoting Crypto ‘Scam’
January 11, 2022 via Rolling Stone
New York resident Ryan Huegerich is suing the company behind the EthereumMax (EMAX) cryptocurrency, as well as the celebrities who backed it, for pushing a “pump-and-dump scam,” according to a new class-action lawsuit in California Federal Court.

NFT Projects Endorsed by Jay Chou and Edison Chen Top Charts
January 11, 2022 via Asia Newsday
Two NFT projects with links to Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou and Hong Kong actor Edison Chen have soared to the top of the world's biggest NFT marketplace's 24-hour sales chart.

Video Game Companies Should Think Twice About NFTs
January 7, 2022 via Bloomberg – News (subscription may be required)
The video game industry is at a crossroads. Enticed by the prospect of easy profits, game publishers and even a retailer like GameStop Corp. are embracing the opportunity provided by the hottest buzzword of the moment: blockchain-enabled non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. But they should reconsider.

Get Ur Self a Nas NFT
January 6, 2022 via The Street - Top Stories
NFT Group Royal is offering fans a chance to buy shares in rap legend’s new songs. You can all you want, but new tokens that will let you own a share of Nas’s new singles soon to be available for sale.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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